Text: “Philippians 4:6 - Be careful for nothing: in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God”
In this verse, Paul lays out five very important steps to move from fear to faith, from turmoil to peace, and from defeat to victory. We’ll look at five key words that tell us exactly what we must do when worry and concerns are trying to assail our minds: 1) prayer; 2) supplication; 3) thanksgiving; 4) requests; and 5) known.
When Paul uses the word “prayer” in this verse, it is the Greek word proseuche (pros-yoo-Khay), which is the most commonly used word for prayer in the New Testment. This particular word and its various forms are used approximately 127 times in the New Testament. It is a compound of the words pros and euche. The word pros is a preposition that means toward, which can denote a sense of closeness. Nearly everywhere it is used in the New Testament, the word pros carries with it the meaning of close, up-front, intimate contact with someone else.
One scholar has noted that the word pros is used to portray the intimate relationship that exists between the members of the Godhead. John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God. “The word “with” is taken from the word pros. By using this word to describe the relationship between the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit is telling us that theirs is an intimate relationship. One expositor has translated the verse, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was face to face with God.”
The second part of the word proseuche is taken from the word euche. The word euche is an old Greek word that describes a wish, desire, prayer, or vow. It was originally used to depict a person who made some kind of vow to God because of a need or desire in his or her life. This individual world vow to give something of great value to God in exchange for a favorable answer to prayer. Thus, inherent in this word is the idea of an exchange-giving something to God in exchange for something wanted or desired.
This happened in Judges 11:31; Jephtah vowed to God that he would offer to him the first thing that come out of his house if He helped Him Win the Battle. Jephtah did not know it would be his very own daughter that he would be using for the “Exchange”. As Paul Harvey would say, “the rest of the story” is that Jephtah honored his vow to God. Even though it was hard Jephtah made the exchange with God.
So instead of carrying your worries and burdens, you are to take the first step Paul gives you in moving from a place of turmoil to a place of peace: Come close to the Lord in Prayer. Once you are in that intimate, face-to-face place with God, take the opportunity to give Him your worries, fears, and concerns. Then ask the Lord to give you something back in exchange for the worries you have given Him-ask Him for peace! You see this is a part of the great exchange found in the Greek word proseuche. When you give God your problems, in return He gives you His Peace.